Fender Electric XII 12 String Solid Body Electric Guitar (1965)

Fender  Electric XII 12 String Solid Body Electric Guitar  (1965)
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Item # 10405
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Fender Electric XII Model 12 String Solid Body Electric Guitar (1965), made in Fullerton, California, serial # 115033, Candy Apple Red lacquer finish, alder body, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, original black tolex hard shell case.

This is a truly beautiful first-year custom-color example of a Fender Electric XII, finished in the always-popular Candy Apple Red. While perhaps not one of Fender's best-remembered creations the Electric XII is nonetheless is a superbly engineered, great-sounding and extremely practical 12-string guitar. Introduced at the July 1965 NAMM Show at the dawn of the CBS/Fender era the Fender 12-string married the popular Jaguar/Jazzmaster style offset body to a new 12-string neck with a distinctive extended "hockey stick" headstock. The neck itself remains typically Fender; slim and very comfortable. These are often considered the best-playing electric 12s of the 1960s, and with good reason. Custom color examples like this are fairly rare, and particularly striking looking guitars with the elongated matching headstock.

This guitar dates to late 1965, the first production year for the model with a neck date of November 65 and pots coded to the 45th week of that year. The electronics are unique with two pickups each with two separate coil units, as pioneered by the Precision Bass but with smaller Mustang-style coils. These are mated to a 4-way lever switch allowing individual pickup selections and two different phase combinations. The bridge is a marvel of Leo Fender's engineering prowess; it strings through the body with 12 staggered-height intonation-adjustable saddles and is generally considered the best unit of its kind.

With all this original engineering, Fender somewhat missed the boat a bit on the electric 12-string fad and by the time the Electric XII was ready to market in late 1965 Rickenbacker had already reaped the bulk of benefit of the Byrds' and Beatles' popularization of the sound. For all that, the guitar is a very good design and an excellent-sounding stage or recording instrument, albeit without exactly capturing the Rick's trademark jangle. Led Zeppelin, the Velvet Underground, The Move, The Kinks, Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass, the Baja Marimba Band, and many others have made classic recordings with this model, and its full potential is perhaps still untapped. This candy-colored example is the coolest we have had, a much more dramatic looking hot rod compared to its sunburst brethren if still identical sounding!
 
Overall length is 42 7/8 in. (108.9 cm.), 14 in. (35.6 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 1/2 in. (3.8 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 25 1/2 in. (648 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).

This is a really superb and striking Electric XII, finished in one of Fender's boldest metallic paint jobs with the 3-layer white pickguard and matching red headstock. It remains all original showing just fairly minor wear overall with some light checking and small dings, dents and handling marks. The heaviest are several larger chips down to the primer and wood along the lower body edge, some deeper scrapes on the back and a couple of small chips on the back of neck. The top has only some minor dings and random checking, the vibrant Candy Apple red finish is still bright with virtually no fade to the color. This guitar shows no alterations, and actually looks to have not really been played too much since it shipped out of Fullerton in late 1965 or early 1966. The fingerboard and original frets have some very light wear. Overall a lovely package of timeless 1960s jangle still residing in its original black Tolex Fender HSC. Excellent + Condition.